I guess the numbers are too small to have made a difference anyway, but still, it just aggravates me the number of people who have left Kodak products behind over the years, sometimes out of spite, and flocked to shit materials with reclaimed branding.
Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick
This is not in the least bit true. Film is actually the exact opposite of this. Film is a trade secret, the knowledge is in the proper chemicals, in the proper concentrations, deposited at the correct rates on the correct base, with all the tricks that have been worked out over the last hundred years.
Originally Posted by keithwms
If you want an example of this, look at the Impossible Project: they've been trying to reverse engineer Polaroid 600 film for years now. They've had partial success, but it's an uphill battle, their product is still marginal (ahem, "experimental" ), and they've only survived by pairing up with Urban Outfitters to market it to hipsters. Admittedly, Polaroid film is probably the single most complex film available, but it's still a problem.
Not to mention, people either buy good quality film or cheap film. You can try to compete with Fuji's Reala, Acros, and slide line, which are incredible 100 speed films, and Kodak's Ektar, Tri-X, TMAX, and Portra lines, but you will have to somehow best modern products put out by companies putting serious research into this. Portra 400 and 160 are brand new. Ektar is brand new. Acros is at most a decade old. The other way is you can compete with the Lucky, Shanghai, and Fomapans of the world. Not exactly a high-margin business.
Personally, I think Kodak is mostly hanging on because of motion picture film sales at this point. Yes, they are way down from peak, but that doesn't mean they aren't making a profit and more importantly, moving (and processing) a lot of film. That's where the improvements for the New Portra films came from - backported from the Vision 500T movie film. While there are a lot of analog photographers out there, we probably don't compete with the guys who don't even hesitate to load up a couple thousand feet of film and blow through it in an afternoon, then copy their movie a thousand times to mail it to theaters all over the nation.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
I really don't see people buying cheap film in a significant enough way to dent Kodak, really. People who would buy Foma, Shanghai, or Lucky because it's super cheap probably wouldn't have bought top-of-the-line film anyway, or at least wouldn't have shot as much. You can't establish some imaginary baseline and claim massive losses from your made-up number (though the RIAA/MPAA try).
Last edited by PaulMD; 10-03-2011 at 12:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Tanks on Bankruptcy Rumor. Melts up after denying rumor. Still, this is a penny stock, guys. Kodak's not far from being delisted.
So if Kodak's film operation does, heaven forbid, go away---or at least go into suspension while organizational things are being worked out---what happens to the motion picture industry? Is it likely that Fuji can pick up the slack and essentially supply the whole global movie industry, or would this be a gigantic crisis for movie-making on film?
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
Yeah so? Yes there are plenty of trade secrets but those can be written up and sold, and most of the 'magic' is in the hands-on experience of the technicians. I don't believe that any surprises will turn up with regards to film technology.
Originally Posted by PaulMD
To suggest (hope?) that Kodak has some superduper secret technology in its current film products on the shelf- I don't believe that for an instant. I have it on pretty good authority that Kodak stopped doing most research in the film domain many years go (a decade or so). Things like Ektar were a long time coming. As soon as they started diverting capital to digital, something had to give, and unfortunately it was film-related research. When I inquired about film research I was told by one insider to go work for Fuji.
Also, I wouldn't compare this to polaroid at all. Totally different animal.
Anyway my point was that in principle the film ops could be parceled off and probably still turn a tidy profit. That's all. And I had cinema films in mind, not the low margin single shot stuff.
Last edited by keithwms; 10-03-2011 at 02:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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It is highly suspect that film can turn a profit. That's the problem. Almost no new film cameras being made and shelf presence and mini-labs disappearing. Reduced demand = hard to sell. Where's the bottom? No one knows. That's the risk.
I agree. If there is any value in them for anyone else to use them, then there should be even more value for Kodak to use them. Especially as they don't have to buy them.
Originally Posted by keithwms
Yes, most of the 'magic' is in the hands-on experience of the technician, but it won't be written up and sold without a major program to do specifically this. Forget Polaroids. Example: Kodak stopped making pack films years ago. Why? Their last technician who knew how to assemble them... retired. And that's just how to assemble the things, they still had the jigs for cutting and assembling the packs, the layouts for the paper pulley gizmo, and the film was still in production.
Originally Posted by keithwms
You can say "IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE" all you like, but the fact is that there are many people-centuries of institutional knowledge in a company like Kodak and most of it is not written down or recorded in sufficient detail to recreate even similar products without significantly re-engineering them. You cannot just go from a couple chemical engineers to a modern film-coating plant laying down modern emulsions without a lot of expense.
Last edited by PaulMD; 10-03-2011 at 04:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Paul, are you saying that the Kodak labs are so terrible that they have people mixing brews and not taking good notes? That's certainly not consistent with the excellent quality control the company has been known for, year after year.
Anyway this is all beside the point. The question is whether a split-up of Kodak might possibly be good for the film market. I am going to say yes. Let's see.
I think the prospect of moving the production line to another location, say in SE Asia, and producing a quality product is less than 50%. This would assume Kodak was actively attempting to facilitate the transfer. Without Kodak helping after a dismantling would be like the idiotic conversations we used to have about making Kodachrome in a barn.
Much of the uphill battle for TIP has been the fact that it was junked, and they are trying to recreate it from the trash heap. They're doing far better than I ever expected.
But still, expecting a plant in Bangkok to turn out Ektar 100 is a lot more optimistic than expecting a plant in Bangkok to turn out cheap VHS cassettes.